The session on innovation potential in Central Europe on the 26th Economic Forum

Please be kindly invited to join the discussion panel “Central Europe – Heart of Innovations” that is going to be held in the framework of 26th Economic Forum in Krynica (6-8 September). The panelist taking part in this debate will share their ideas on how to speed up the process of creation of “The V4 Innovative Hub”.

Central Europe needs to speed up the process of transformation and its ability to adapt to the new trends. The only way to switch the region’s economy on the new track is investing in innovative solutions. It is not only about ideas, but ideas and their implementation. Bringing innovation into traditional industries is the key to success and ensures the competitiveness of the CEE region.

The discussion Central Europe – Heart of Innovations will be moderated by Zuzana Nehajova, Director General, Ministry of Economy, Slovakia. The following speakers will join the panel, i.a.: Pawel Szefernaker, State Secretary, The Chancellery of the Prime Minister (Poland), Zoltan Csefalvay, Permanent Representative, Permanent Delegation of Hungary to the OECD and UNESCO (Hungary), Max Lemke, Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation (Belgium), Agata Waclawik-Wejman, Director Public Policy EU, Uber (Belgium) and Petr Ocko, Chairman, Technology Agency of the Czech Republic – TACR – (Czech Republic), Anna-Marie Vilamovska, Advisor for Innovation Policy, Office of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria.


Do We Need a Launch Pad For Our On-Site Tech Intelligence in the Silicon Valley? Yes, we do, convinces Eszter Szabo, presenting CB Insights artickle.

Want to drive a BMW while contributing to a new, competitive segment of the Visegrad 4 (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) economies? Finally, there is a positive story about Europe’s venture capital-backed start-up innovation capacity by a US-based company, CB Insights, a leading tech market intelligence platform that analyses millions of data points on venture capital, start-ups, patents, partnerships and news media to help their users see tomorrow’s opportunities, today. The company builds software that predicts technology trends by analyzing multiple data points.

CB Insights sees the woods, not just the trees, as we say in Hungary, as they highlight more than just the major hubs in Europe. They state “Europe is home to prominent start-up and innovation hubs such as Berlin, Stockholm and London. However, the tech boom is diffusing across continental Europe and start-ups are emerging outside of the established hot-beds of technology and innovation.” Check out their map of Europe that includes key players from Central and Eastern Europe also. do not be offended as only those are listed that got major funding AFTER 2014.

They continue, saying “Ireland (Future Finance), Spain (Cabify) and Denmark (Trustpilot), to name a few locations – all have at least one tech start-up that has raised over $100M to date. One of the least well-known but certainly most notable start-ups in Europe is the Czech Republic’s cybersecurity player AVAST Software, which has raised $100 million and is valued at $1 billion. Additionally, a payments company in the Netherlands, Adyen, has raised $266 million and has a valuation of $2.3 billion.”

The article at CB Insight is an exception as  “Currently the Silicon Valley does not see beyond London and Paris or maybe Berlin. Central and Eastern Europe is not on the map here. Our friend, who is the US co-founder of a Polish-American start-up received a term sheet where one of the terms was to move the 50-strong Polish team to the Silicon Valley – an impossible, but telling request. The Visegrad countries have their work cut out for them to put ourselves on the map, so healthy bi-continental business models can become the norm and not the exception.”  says B. Laszlo Karafiath, PhD co-founder of the network, Neumann Society, which aims to connect Central Europe and the Silicon Valley.

The concept of one V4+ as an emerging innovation hub brand in a global context is one of the topics to be discussed at the upcoming Krynica Economic Forum with some 3000 participants and demonstrated by the countries’ joint efforts at the Tech Crunch, California, both in September 2016

How should a V4 launchpad in California look like? What does it do with that car at the top of this post? Read this article further at

This article is a modified version of the one one on @EnergingEurope

Eszter Szabo: Corporate Communications, Public Affairs & Government Relations Executive w/ 15+ years of experience in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) at GE and in the government. I’m positive about Central Europe’s future as it has big potential as an emerging innovation hub in a global context. A businesswoman  w/ a heart in today’s digital era. Twitter @eszterforcee, LinkedIn